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The Collected Stories

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2005

    Masterful and dazzling, with an astonishing variety

    It took me a couple of months to make my way through these 85 stories and it was definitely worth the time I spent with them. Trevor's prose is always simple and clear, yet his range of characters and plots is astonishing because of their superbly captured detail and variety. Most of these stories deal with Irish and English characters, and many swirl around the realities or possibilities of extramarital affairs. 'In Isfahan,' one of Trevor's best stories, a married middle-aged man carries on an impromptu affair with a young woman he meets while in Iran; in 'Lovers of Their Time,' another top-notch story, a married man carries on a long-term affair with a shop girl by meeting her in a hotel¿s second-floor public bathroom. Trevor is also quite adept of presenting the romantic yearnings of women. In 'The Ballroom of Romance,' a country girl's dreams and consequences are highlighted in her trips to the local dance hall; in 'Afternoon Dancing,' a middle-aged married woman dallies with the idea of an affair with her dance partner after the death of her close friend. Like Chekhov, to whom Trevor is often compared, this writer also has an admirable sense of comedy. 'Mulvhill¿s Memorial' finds an unlikely pornographic set-up within an office; 'The Trinity' has a couple booking a vacation to Venice and ending up in Switzerland. Accidents spiral out of control in 'The Penthouse Apartment,' and in 'A Complicated Nature,' a man is forced to help his upstairs neighbor when her suitor unexpectedly dies. Another one of the best stories of this collection is 'Broken Homes,' where an elderly woman suffers the indignities of having her kitchen painted by a team of indifferent youths. Other first-rate stories include 'The Smoke Trees of San Pietro,' where a boy¿s sickness propels his mother into an affair, and 'Death in Jerusalem' where a mother dies while on vacation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2000

    The Greatest Living Writer in the English Language

    I keep this book in the back of my car. It rests under yellowing newspapers, discarded To Do Lists (rarely looked at or achieved), a Thomas Guide to Los Angeles and a few stray Starbucks coffee containers. Okay, I'm a slob. But the reason William Trevor's stories go with me wherever I go is I never know when I will be overcome with the urge to read his luminous prose. There is no greater writer today. His characters are richly complex. The worlds they inhabit are diverse, shifting and soaked with truth. I hope Mr. Trevor continues to write for many years to come. And I hope one day I might buy him a pint to thank him for the joy he has brought me and thousands others. Bravo.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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